UNC and Griffith condemn the government for the increase in the number of murders


In this file photo, former CoP Gary Griffith, right, chats with Acting Commissioner McDonald Jacob at the Police Administration Building in April 2021. –

Former police commissioner Gary Griffith and opposition MP Roodal Moonilal accuse the government of mishandling crime which led to 100 more murders in the period January-23 July than in the same period last year last.

In 2021, between January and July, TT recorded 206 murders. For the same period in 2022, the country recorded 307 murders.

Reached for comment, Moonilal said: “The government’s gross incompetence is exemplified in its mishandling of the crime crisis. The vacuum of leadership at the ministerial and police levels, the absence of strategy and examples of this ineptitude. The government is also driven by wickedness and wickedness instead of a desire to improve the quality of life of citizens.”

He described the situation as a “downward spiral accelerated by the prime minister’s unlawful intervention to thwart the express will of an independent police service board that has resulted in an unprecedented leadership crisis in the police service.” He was referring to the merit list mess last year after Gary Griffith was recommended as the top candidate for police commissioner. Griffith, who served for three years from 2018, was unlawfully suspended and later disqualified after a High Court judge ruled on the legality of legislation governing the appointment of a senior police officer.

The Prime Minister, who has said he has lost faith in Griffith, said he stepped in as the Police Services Board completed the merit list and submitted it to Chairman Paula-Mae Weekes last August after information had reached him as chairman of the National Security Council regarding the granting of firearms permits. The entire Bliss Seepersad-led commission resigned over the imbroglio and Jacob was appointed last December by a new commission chaired by retired judge Judith Jones.

In an interview, Griffith said the reduction in crime in 2020 and 2021 should be tied to covid19 restrictions. He, too, condemned the government for its reactive response to crime and criminality.

“People who keep trying to link the reason for the massive reduction in crime to covid19, they’re totally ignorant, they don’t have one and there’s nothing you have to justify that for.

“You’re trying to say a man wouldn’t want to kill or kidnap because he’s afraid of contracting covid19. And you can’t use movement restrictions because the majority of violent crime has taken place in broad daylight in this country. “

Griffith questioned why the government refused to pursue the effective blueprint of policies developed during his tenure as commissioner to control crime.

He further accused the government of meanly dismantling the programs it had put in place and blamed the lack of leadership by the police department for spiraling crime.

“This is what gave criminals the proceeds of opportunity. Criminals feared apprehension, but the fear is no longer there. The minister and the police commissioner did not lay down a single policy for replace the hundreds of things they shut down.

Jacob argued that many of the anti-crime measures put in place under Griffith’s tenure remain active and are helpful in reducing crime.

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